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Emotional goodbyes, forgetting to pack their sandwiches, friendship fears – most parents have the same worries when it come to their little one’s first day of school. To help you feel at ease, we’ve spoken to several primary school teachers. After all, they’re the pros when it comes to first-day jitters and how to deal with them

See the fun side

“School is often built up to be a scary thing, but reception is fun! Kids get to do the things they love – be it reading, painting or playing football. It’s a relaxed and gentle environment – there’s no need for parents to be worried.”
Sophie, teacher for three years

“Some kids smuggle the strangest non-uniform accessories into school, like gloves in the summer and sparkly hats. A group of girls got in trouble for wearing heavy make-up – turned out they’d taken it from their mums’ collections, but used lipstick as nail varnish and blusher as foundation.”
Lauren, teacher for eight years


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Help them fly free

“A boy who loves dinosaurs scored his first ever rounder while running round the pitch screaming like a pterodactyl. When I praised him on his skills, he said ‘Well of course I did well, it’s easy to get a rounder when you have a 10-metre wingspan’.”
Daniel, teacher for four years


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Let them be themselves

“I once saw a child in reception with a pillow he’d brought from his bed – his mum couldn’t get him to school without it.”
Rebecca, teacher for six years

“I had one pupil who loved to stand up and present in front of his class. He would talk with a fake (yet convincing) American accent and say, ‘Hey guys, I love you all and I’m enjoying my first week of school so much!’”
Emily, teacher for three years


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Face the first day with confidence

“Teachers do lots of prep to make sure kids feel comfortable on their first day of school. We’re often there a week before school starts, laminating, labelling and making the classroom look fun and inviting.”
Chris, teacher for 12 years

“We know walking into that classroom for the first time can be daunting for all children. We make sure they all have allocated spaces, from labelled pegs and drawers to a set place to sit. Having a place that’s their own on the first day helps ease those concerns and gives them a sense of belonging.”
Alisha, teacher for nine years


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Enjoy it

“Kids can pick up anxieties from their parents. Just take some time to help them get organised, then go and enjoy the time to yourself. They will be absolutely fine! Trust me, I’m a teacher.”
Charlotte, teacher for 10 years


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